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Tube Amp Frustration

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Schecter_player  
7 Aug 2009 12:13 | Quote
Joined: 12 Jul 2009
Canada
Karma: 3
Hey, i've had a Vox AC15 for about six months now, and i'm getting the feeling that i'm missing out on why tube amps are so revered. When i crank it up, the distortion sounds mediocre at best. Can anyone recommend some modifications i can make that don't require too much skill with electronics? If there is anything less drastic that you can recommend, that would be great too. I can upload some sounds bites if that'll help.
Phip  
7 Aug 2009 14:40 | Quote
Joined: 23 Dec 2007
United States
Lessons: 1
Karma: 45
Moderator
did a quick google and there are "things" that can be done to that Vox.
http://www.tdpri.com/forum/amp-central-station/68433-vox-ac15-speaker-tube-options.html

http://www.guitarpug.com/2008/06/vox-ac15cc-mod-guide/

Now, here's the catch. Some/most of these mods require some proper tools and some tech experience. So if you don't have any tech experience you should find a friend who does, or print these out and take them to a tech and have him/her do it for a fee! What you should NOT do is open it up and start sticking your fingers in there! OK?

Not much I can do for you from here except comment.
Good luck,
Phip
telecrater  
7 Aug 2009 21:48 | Quote
Joined: 13 Jan 2008
United States
Lessons: 8
Karma: 13
do you have valvertronics AC?
RA  
8 Aug 2009 00:24 | Quote
Joined: 24 Sep 2008
United States
Karma: 16
well i don't know what kind of distortion your trying to get, but in my opinion the vox doesn't have the kind for that "Death metal"(maybe wrong term but i hope you get what i saying) distortion. It a very very good amp but if that's what your looking for it ain't going to push(speaker,tubes???) it without mods. but very good amp and you can finagle it but if you expecting Marshall tones you ain't really going to get there.
Schecter_player  
8 Aug 2009 01:23 | Quote
Joined: 12 Jul 2009
Canada
Karma: 3
@RA
Yeah, i knew when i bought it that it wasn't going to knock people over. But the problem is that i found myself preferring my DS-1 the distortion out of the amp. That sort of freaked me out.
@Phip
Yeah, i don't have tools or know-how, so i'll shop around for someone that knows what they're doing.
@telecrater
Its not the valvetronics, if i remember right those have transistors and tubes. Never really appealed to me. This is all tube.
telecrater  
8 Aug 2009 11:32 | Quote
Joined: 13 Jan 2008
United States
Lessons: 8
Karma: 13
Cool i just wanted to make sure. I've got a valvetronics, and know it's a "fake" tube amp but i love it still.

usually tube amp's really shine when you cranking and those tubes be hot. I'm not sure what your not happy with, is it tone or drive, the middle sounds flat etc?

if the drive is not driven enough for you maybe look at getting a boost pedle or even something like a tube screamer.

All in all if your just not happy with it sell it or trade it in for something different.
Schecter_player  
9 Aug 2009 23:31 | Quote
Joined: 12 Jul 2009
Canada
Karma: 3
Yeah, i've never actually listened to one, so i won't judge (they could be fantastic for all i know).

well, yeah, thats my other option. I'm not sure how to put what i'm thinking into words, but it just doesn't seem thick/saturated enough, it sounds a little brittle.

I've heard that you should learn to replace tubes, apparently its something tube amp owners should know how to do. Is that truth or should i take it to a tech for something like that. Also, i know that i won't be doing anything to extensive right now (budget), but how much difference can changing the tubes alone make?
J05H  
10 Aug 2009 00:16 | Quote
Joined: 04 May 2009
United States
Karma: 1
HI ! ! ! ! ! ! !
deadman2k666  
7 Oct 2009 18:59 | Quote
Joined: 21 Sep 2009
Canada
Lessons: 1
Karma: 2
if you were looking for a plain distortion, you shoulda just bought a regular solid state amp. I have a Vox VT30 and the different sounds i get out of that beast is just unbelievable
JoshJones  
8 Oct 2009 22:39 | Quote
Joined: 30 Sep 2009
United States
Karma: 3
Tube amps are more for a clean sound. The tube itself has less noise in the signal as the gain goes up. Solid states shine for a distorted or muddy tone. If you stay with the tube (which I highly recommend), pick up the DS-1 for metalish tones or TS-9 / Blues Driver for the blues rock sound.


Another way to get distortion out of your tube amp would be to pull what originally happened and take a screwdriver and punch holes in your cone.
JoshJones  
8 Oct 2009 22:45 | Quote
Joined: 30 Sep 2009
United States
Karma: 3
oh and changing the tubes is a necessity. There should be a couple screws on the back of your amp and a tray that hangs down that holds your 4 tubes. Should contain 2 EL84's and 2 12ax7's.

Electro Harmonix makes a great EL84/6BQ5 tube and some people say that they make a great 12ax7 tube but I prefer a JJ 12ax7. The 12ax7 has a higher gain. I want to say the 12ay7 is a cleaner sound, but if you look into some research on it, you can mix tubes to get a clean or distorted sound, but its hard to do both.


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